PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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How You Can Pray Your Way to a Firmer, Shapelier Butt (and a Few Other Things Besides)

You could call it the Threefold Salute.

In my head. On my lips. In my heart. (Touch brow, mouth, chest.) Or the other way: In my heart. On my lips. In my head. Up the tree or down?

It's a formal greeting. It's a ritual salute. In body language, it says: So mote it be.

When you enter a sacred space, pause at the threshold. Bend and touch the ground. (If you can't actually touch the ground from this position, at least reach for it.) As you straighten your spine, standing up, touch heart, lips, head. Then enter.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 8

We take a look at one of Iraq's most elusive religious minorities. Hindus gather for worship along the Ganga River in an annual ritual. And Muslims in the West stand up to religious violence. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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From the back cover:

“Those godless pagans!” Even in pagan antiquity, there were individuals and groups who, while participating in the community’s religious life, did not believe in literal gods. In the centuries that followed the Christian domination of the West, the epithet “godless pagan” was leveled at a wide variety of people, from polytheists and indigenous peoples to heretics and atheists.
In the 1960s, though, there emerged a community of people who sought to reclaim the name “pagan” from its history of opprobrium. These Neo-Pagans were interested in nature spirituality and polytheism, and identified with the misunderstood and persecuted pagans of antiquity. Over the following decades, a stunning variety of spiritualities blossomed under the umbrella of contemporary Paganism.
While many Pagans today believe in literal gods, there are a growing number of Pagans who are “godless.” Today, the diverse assemblage of spiritual paths known as Paganism includes atheist Pagans or Atheopagans, Humanistic and Naturalistic Pagans, Buddho-Pagans, animists, pantheists, Gaians, and other non-theistic Pagans. Here for the first time, their voices are gathered together to share what it means to be Pagan and godless.

I am very pleased to announce that Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans is now available for purchase at lulu.com. (It will be available at Amazon and other sites soon, as well.)  The anthology gathers together the voices of 40 atheistic, humanistic, and naturalistic Pagans, pantheists, Gaians, animists, and other non-theistic Pagans.

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Prayer - it's not a one-way street...

A television show that I enjoyed, which originally aired in the late 90’s through to 2002, is Dharma and Greg. It is about a free-spirited woman with two hippy parents who is very spiritual, very loving and very funny. She marries a conservative born and bred lawyer, and the exchange, dynamic and growth between the two is what makes this such a great show.

At one point Dharma is praying in a hospital chapel, and her spirit guide, a Native American named George whom she connected with personally before he died, comes to her aid and offers advice in her time of need. He hears her praying, trying to have a conversation with whatever deity will listen in the multifaith chapel, and offers these very poignant words which I remember to this very day.

Dharma is feeling remorse because of harsh words she had about her mother, and now her mother is in danger of losing the child that she is carrying.

"George, my Mom might lose the baby."

"And you feel like you made this happen."

"It feels like it."

"Well if you did, they should put your picture up here on the spinning God Wheel", he says, indicating the multifaith prayer icon on the altar.

"Whether I did it or not, I was thinking it."

"Because you were angry."

"So what should I do now? Do you think I should stay here and pray?"

"What do you mean by praying?"

"I don't know - talk to the universe, to God, the Great Spirit, whatever It is."

“Huh. So, you’re having a conversation with the Great Spirit, the Maker of All Things, and you’re doing the talking?”

"Oh, right."

This, indeed defines for me the nature of what prayer is seen as today. Even if we are not asking for anything, a lot of prayer in our culture and society consists of a one-way conversation between the individual and the deity/spirit in question. Prayer is a relationship, for me, and as such necessitates a give and take in everything, including both spoken and unspoken words. Too often in prayer, we forget to listen. When we speak and then listen, then we are communing. Otherwise, we are just talking.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Great reminder, Joanna. We love Dharma and Greg, too, and George is a genius character. There are direct parallels between Nativ
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I think all earth-based traditions will have many similarities I do love that saying as well. So very true. x
  • Kim Campbell
    Kim Campbell says #
    Thank you for this post. You make an excellent point that we all seem to forget.
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Thanks, Kim! x
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, April 7

Conservationists take a radical approach to save rhinos from extinction. The popular webcomic xkcd gets representation in academia. And the nature of reality is explored by philosophers and scientists. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

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Huracán was the supreme Taíno god, said Mr. Colón, my history teacher.

As a ten-year-old student, I did not control my enthusiasm:

No, I replied, it was Atabeyra.

What! Mr. Colón shouted, as he hit his desk with a ruler. 

Silence crept into the room like a mouse during siesta time.  

Every child in class seemed to stop breathing.  Suddenly, I felt my face turning red. 

Ruler in hand, Mr. Colón slowly walked toward my seat: What, he repeated as he reached me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Comas, Thanks for sharing this! Your grandmother did a great service to the gods, and all her people.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Thank you so much, Jamie: I sincerely appreciate your comment.
Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, April 6

The New York Times takes a look at the collection of Doreen Valiente. The way in which gods have "evolved" over time is considered. And the debate over politics within polytheism continues. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on new about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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